Dying to Be Perfect
Constantly bombarded by young, skinny, and seemingly perfect role models, young adults - especially but not limited to women - have developed a serious case of self-loathing. Instead of being happy with themselves and working to improve the parts they dislike, they hate the overall subject and cause great harm to themselves to become what is embedded into their minds as "perfect" and "beautiful".
All of the young starlets they idolize are flawless - they have professionals styling their clothes, hair, and makeup on a daily basis, someone to choose the most hip wardrobe for them, and, when in magazines, a graphic artist to airbrush them to god-like perfection. This is what our young people want to emulate; an impossible image to live up to for the average person.
Perfection or Death
I suppose the thing that upsets me the most about all of this are the things people will put themselves through to attain this perceived "perfection". Women, and men, are starving themselves and killing themselves just to be "beautiful".
If we could get people to put as much energy into making their insides "beautiful" as they do their outsides, maybe we wouldn't have this problem. If our society focused more on the magnificence of Inner Self rather than Outer Image, perhaps we might not have lost so many good people in their pursuit of bodily perfection.
People have died from these diseases - these thoughts of not being good enough - of wanting to be something they felt they were not. People are still dying.
The Horrifying Facts
These are the facts:
..."The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population. The most common causes of death are complications of the disorder, such as cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, and suicide. - From NIMH: Facts About Eating Disorders..."
Emphasis mine. Twelve times more young females are dying to anorexia than any other cause. It's time to stand up. It's time to make a change. It's time to save others before they suffer the same fate.
No, we can't stop all people from suffering eating disorders. There are other factors that play into these diseases than just low self-image. But maybe we can lower the numbers - maybe we can save some who, otherwise, might not have gone down that path.
Learning to love yourself - inside and out - is a powerful, life-affirming tool. We must continue to learn it and live it. And aas long as people are dying never realizing the true beauty they possessed, we must continue to teach it.